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5 North Korean defectors go to US to study and work

Posted June. 06, 2011 06:54,   


North Korean defectors who attend South Korean universities will be allowed to study and work in the U.S. under the WEST (Work, English Study, and Travel) program.

The South Korean Unification Ministry said Sunday that it selected five defectors in late April for the student exchange program in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Seoul and the Korean Education, Science and Technology Ministry.

After undergoing the necessary training and procedures, the five will leave for the U.S. next month. In preparation, they are receiving education on English and American culture at the U.S. Embassy once a week.

The WEST program, which was announced at the August 2008 summit between South Korea and the U.S., allows South Korean university students to visit the U.S. for language courses lasting up to five months, join internship programs for up to 12 months, and travel for one month.

The five defectors, however, will be allowed to stay the U.S. for six months -- five for English study and one month for internships.